Ham radio enthusiast, 13, is on his way to a license ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE


August 16, 1993|By JEAN LESLIE

Dave Picco is probably the kind of boy who took a screwdriver to the doorknobs and alarm clock before he entered nursery school.

Now, at age 13, he and dad Tony Picco have a ham radio set up in the basement, and Dave has already passed two of his FCC operating license tests.

He passed the first one in early May, and the second one on May 30 at the HamFest at Timonium Fairgrounds.

These tests are technical in nature, and not easy even for an adult to pass. Each one had 50 questions, plus some code to decipher. Dave said they weren't too hard, but it depended on how you studied.

This is pretty sophisticated stuff for someone who sports a crew cut, oversized T-shirt, and may just measure 5 feet tall.

In addition, Dave and Tony belong to CARA, Columbia Amateur Radio Association, where Dave is learning more about the workings of a ham radio.

Congratulations, Dave! We're proud of you.


At St. John's Lane Elementary School's back-to-school PTA meetings, there was a teacher with a smile on her face and a toddler on her lap.

She was Sana Wilson. The start of the school year will mark the first administrative assignment in her long career in education as she starts work as new assistant principal at Elkridge Elementary School.

Ms. Wilson feels she will be an asset to the school in many ways. First, she likes to see progress, so whatever happens, "she will give it her best shot."

In addition, she is an experienced special education teacher and understands the inclusion process, so she will be able to help implement it at Elkridge. And she loves to work with parents.

Ms. Wilson's path to her new job started when she earned a bachelor's degree in communications and education from Fisk University. In the years that followed, she married, moved to New York and started a family, all while continuing her schooling.

She has two master's degrees and has completed more than half the course work toward a doctorate.

After moving to Maryland, she obtained a position with emotionally handicapped children. She has now been teaching special education for 15 years.

This is when she got seriously busy. Ms. Wilson was teaching in Prince George's County schools full-time, driving to Washington to teach college classes and then attending her own classes before heading back to Columbia, where her family awaited her.

Talk about a high energy level!

Every time she was going to college, Ms. Wilson says, she was always pregnant. So with every degree, she got a baby.

Now, Sana and husband James Wilson live in the Glenwood area with their four children and Sana's mother, Vivian Moore.

Much luck to Assistant Principal Wilson this year! I think everybody at Elkridge Elementary will need their running shoes to keep up with her.


Barbara Smith from Briarcliffe, Leslie Somers from Olde Mill, other parents and I innocently did our parental duty by attending the Triple A Sports Academy's Parent Day on Wednesday.

Triple A Sports Academy, held at Cedar Lane Park East, is one of the many children's camps sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Little did we know that we'd be jumping and lunging, and spiking and kicking a ball for an hour and a half, as we played the same games our children had been playing for the previous two weeks at camp; although each of us thought we were in fairly good condition, we were plenty tired at the end of our afternoon.

Helping us to feel our age were the energetic staff: Camp Director Chris Rohde, Soccer Coach Eric Black, Volleyball Coach Kara Meissner, Tennis Coaches Ben Baron and Libby Tolson, and Basketball Coaches Pat Haney and Scottie Sellers.

Of course, our children also had a role to play as they casually performed skills we'd long forgotten.

The afternoon was crowned with a scavenger hunt, at which time we had to answer such questions as "In what country will the next Winter Olympics be held?" (Austria) and "How many panels are on a soccer ball?" (32).

The winning team got to pick out their treat before the other campers, but everyone got a prize.

I came home looking like the children: a little sweaty, my face aglow with a satisfied smile.

Triple A Sports Academy is now finished for the summer, but those of us who have school-aged children hope that Rec and Parks will run this one again next year!


The Howard County Youth Program has announced a new volleyball program to be held this fall for county residents aged 10 through 13.

Registration will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today through Thursday at Wallas Park on Route 144 in Ellicott City.

For more information, call 461-1627.


Chapelgate Presbyterian Church is presenting a community-wide conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 28 titled "How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone."

Produced by the Atlanta professional educational organization Walk through the Bible, the seminar will demonstrate communication skills and teaching techniques. Community members are welcome to attend.

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